Katie Wittenauer

Director of Strategic Engagement

As director of strategic engagement, Katie develops and leads MCAN's communication strategy and broadens awareness of the organization, its programs, and its priorities.

Katie has been drawn to work in many different educational settings throughout her career, first as a math and reading teacher for middle school students, then as a first-year writing instructor for college students during and after graduate school. Her earliest role in communications was at Lansing's Impression 5 Science Center, where she developed a love for informal science education and Lansing's community of arts and cultural organizations. Following her time at Impression 5, Katie worked as communications manager at Michigan State University's Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, where she learned invaluable lessons from students and colleagues about recruitment and retention, the role of the arts and humanities in civic engagement, and what is possible through the residential college setting.

Most recently, Katie was director of programs at Michigan Humanities, where she collaborated with nonprofit organizations across the state on the Great Michigan Read, Poetry Out Loud, and Bridging Michigan programs. She worked alongside arts and cultural partners to plan, publicize, deliver, and evaluate humanities programming with an emphasis on accessibility and inclusion.

Katie completed her Bachelor of Arts in advertising with minors in English and marketing at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Several years later, as part of Michigan State University's Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures program, she earned a Master of Arts in digital rhetoric and professional writing. Katie grew up in Montana, but was committed to exploring beyond Bozeman. Feedback from family members and high school teachers motivated Katie to research writing-related career paths and programs, and — with the aid of a transformative scholarship opportunity — she ultimately decided to make her move to the Midwest and enroll in Marquette's Diederich College of Communication to study advertising, English, and marketing.

Outside of work, Katie loves spending time with a new book or film, dreaming up future travel plans with family and friends, cooking and baking, and trying out new art forms like block printing and pottery. Even after nearly 14 years in Michigan, Katie still enjoys finding beautiful parts of the state on camping trips with her husband and reluctantly outdoorsy dog.

Marquette University Bachelor of Arts, Advertising
Michigan State University Master of Arts, Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing